Fat Cats squashed in Guelph, but you wouldn’t know that would you?

Ottawa ran into some trouble in Guelph and now find themselves in a hole (photo courtesy Bev Gosling)

I think the Ottawa Sun put it nicely; “The Ottawa Fat Cats are coming home with absolutely no momentum.”

I guess I should explain the title before we get into things. The only reason that I was able to figure out what the score was in game 2 of this series was because both teams provided twitter updates. Guelph’s scorer had a problem with his phone and was unable to update pointstreak.

Now, it was really just an unfortunate series of events that led to people without social media not being able to keep track of the game whatsoever, but the point that I’m trying to make here is that it should not happen.

Firstly, why wasn’t Rogers Ottawa broadcasting the game? I checked it out at 7:30 last night and they had Bingo on.  I doubt that bingo would get more viewers than IBL baseball.

Secondly, it’s 2012. Collegiate and independent pro leagues all over the place have internet radio broadcasts if they can’t get their games on the airwaves. There are sites and programs like Ustream that let you broadcast online for no charge. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection, so I don’t understand why teams can’t set a stream up, especially during the playoffs.

Ottawa and Hamilton have their games streamed and Barrie will be starting those broadcasts next season. Let’s see more teams get on board! The feedback is great when I ask away fans about the Ottawa broadcast. If the other organizations started them up, they definitely wouldn’t regret it.

Now, to be fair, I don’t know why any Fat cats fans would’ve wanted to tune in to last night’s game. I can only think of one way to describe it: a good old-fashioned ass-kicking.

It goes to show you that a little momentum can go a long way. After Amelotte gave up a couple hits to start things off,  it only took was a couple bombs to put the game out of reach—and let’s not forget that we weren’t even half way through the first inning.

I guess Amelotte had the jitters going into the game, but to give up 9 runs in a span of a third of an inning? I’ve never seen something like that. Sabourin came in for relief, but gave up 7 runs in just over 5 innings of work himself.

The Fat Cats’ bats didn’t help the cause either. We just simply couldn’t get anything on the scoreboard besides the hits. The effort was there—Ottawa only went down in order twice—but there’s still a problem when it comes to bringing baserunners home. We left 11 men stranded all game and most of the time the 3rd out came on ground outs while swinging at either the first or second pitch.

We needed some patience and composure to win last night and unfortunately no one was able to bring that. This is one of those moments where I really miss Matt McGovern from last year. We could definitely use the presence that he brought down the stretch in 2011 once again.

To add insult to injury—or in this case, injury to insult—Jason Coker left the game in the 7th inning with a lower body issue. This is terrible for the Cats, as he has been a huge asset at the plate all year. Not sure that we can afford to lose him for an extended period of time at this point.

Saturday was a much different game. I actually made the trip down to Guelph to take things in. Hastings is a nice little ballpark that lets you get very close to the action. The place holds about 700 people and it was pretty much full. You can’t compare the experience to Ottawa, really. They’re two very different places.

The game itself was a pitchers’ duel. Brandon Huffman lost it, but definitely didn’t deserve that fate. I believe that David Hatt outpitched Huff, but it was the Fat Cats infield that lost them the game. 4 errors, including 2 on the same play that let Guelph take the lead in the 7th. You just can’t let that happen.

You’ve also got to give the Royals credit here; they’ve clearly been the better team through these 2 games. Sean Reilly and Frankie Hare have gotten the monkey off their backs in a big way. Reilly has posted an average of .667 while getting on base 78% of the time. Frankie Hare’s numbers aren’t as crazy, but his 6 RBIs leads the team.

Any type of curse that these 2 had while playing Ottawa appears to have been lifted.  Their final test is performing in the hostile environment of Ottawa Stadium.

Speaking of which, fans, I won’t be there this coming weekend so I won’t be able to hear the noise.

I hope that the Fat Cats are able to come out with a couple wins this weekend, but if that isn’t the case and we are going to lose this series in Ottawa, I better hear about the biggest standing ovation in Ottawa sports history. It may be the last time that we ever see the Fat Cats play.

Carlos Verde will be covering this weekend’s events at Ottawa Stadium for me, so I guess he’ll be seeing you then. Hopefully, the next time I sit down to write an article it won’t be a season recap!

    • Pierre
    • August 1st, 2012

    Whenever you’re dealing with technology, things can happen. And the more steps you have in the system, the more chances there is of a problem somewhere along the line because you’re adding complexity to the system.

    That is the case with Poinstreak. Here you have an online application – somewhat wonky at times too as I’ve seen it in action. For the whole thing to work, the scorer needs a computer to start with. Apparently from what I hear, a phone will do although I pity the guy having to do this job from a small screen. The computer or phone can fail. The power can fail. The internet connection can fail and on this point, from what I hear of most IBL parks, it’s a wonder there’s a connection at all. It can be slow with many people sharing it. The server hosting Poinstreak can fail. The software can fail. If you have different or new scorers, problems can arise because of not being totally familiar with the system. Frankly, I’m surprised the whole thing has worked as well as I’ve seen it so far in the last couple of years.

    I know the scorer is supposed to also score on paper in case there’s a problem. I just checked the boxscore and it is still incomplete more than 24 hours later on Ottawa’s side. Right there that shouldn’t happen as the debits and credits as it were don’t balance. I don’t expect it to ever be fixed. But as said, this is not a pro league.

    Rogers I’m sure has set schedules it has to adhere to. Surely they could not pre-empt bingo and that’s probably why the game wasn’t on. That is no biggie to me since I don’t subscribe to cable. There’s also technological issues there, the main one being transmission from Guelph to Ottawa. Was Rogers in Guelph even there at the park? If not, it’s all a moot point.

    Some pro leagues have internet radio broadcasts, probably some collegiate as well I would assume. There’s problems associated with this, some are the same as Poinstreak. The teams are the ones who foot the bill for this. In Ottawa, we have a couple of guys who do the home games. I don’t know about Guelph. But it’s up to the teams’ discretion. In Ottawa, these guys volunteer their time and don’t get paid. This league after all is not a professional team and as discussed on FB, apparently few teams make a profit. So internet radio is the last thing on their minds and you need committed people to do this broadcast without compensation and footing the expenses.

    I suppose few other teams will do it if a) there is little reason to do it, b) it costs too much and c) it doesn’t generate revenues especially if b). Revenues would be advertising and I don’t think too many businesses will want to advertise to a few dozen listeners.

    The games: Amelotte obviously didn’t have it last night. Maybe because of that complete, 132-pitch game against the Red Sox? He should be well rested for his next start at least. The first game of the series turned out just the way I was afraid it might: good pitching on both sides as expected, a loss for the Fat Cats because of poor defense. As you say, you can’t let that happen. Defensively, this team is much different than last year, read worse. Too bad the hitting has been anemic all three years, the pitching certainly has been there the last two.

    • No doubt about it that there could be problems with the internet connection or server which would make it impossible to do a broadcast like what I’m proposing. However, from my experiences with it, the pointstreak servers aren’t as reliable as those for live streaming sites and programs. For example, the problem that Guelph had with the scorer’s cell phone wouldn’t happen with Ustream, because there’s no program to download.

      About the box score not being filled out, it will also translate into player stat pages being incorrect and not updated. My minor hockey league has a working and updated stat page. Point is, if you have a stat page, you should do your best to fill it out.. not being a pro league isn’t an excuse not to fill it out.

      Rogers Guelph was at the Saturday game and from what Jon Trottier told me at that game, they were there Monday as well. If they were able to change their schedule to broadcast both games, don’t see why we couldn’t have.. the Bingo on Monday was a live presentation, but there were many different occasions over this season where RTV22 could’ve showed IBL ball, but had repeats of other shows on instead. Don’t see why they would do that.

      I don’t think that finding volunteers for internet broadcasts would be much of an issue. After all, the broadcasters that Rogers uses are volunteers and teams rally up volunteers for game day ops a lot of the time in this league – most teams do it more so than Ottawa does. If we were lucky enough to get Howard and Jason to do the games, I would think that other teams could find volunteer broadcasters without much trouble. I guess you never really know, though.

    • Pierre
    • August 3rd, 2012

    >> About the box score not being filled out, it will also translate into player stat pages being incorrect and not updated.

    Not sure about that but that is likely.

    >> you should do your best to fill it out.. not being a pro league isn’t an excuse not to fill it out.

    Agree. Put Poinstreak should not have accepted and published this boxscore as it is incomplete. So the fault is not just the scorer’s – if he is at fault at all. I think he may be but so is Pointstreak. I also blame the league or at least the league’s statistician for allowing this. So there’s blame all around.

    As for Rogers, contact them. If enough people ask for IBL games, home and away, maybe they’ll broadcast more.

    You have to understand however how things work. You said the bingo was a live event. They likely had previous obligations to broadcast that show. I used to work there as a technician when it was Skyline Cable (yes, a lifetime ago) so I know a bit how these things work. There’s organization, last minute in this case, and costs which maybe Rogers Ottawa was not willing to spend. You’d be surprised at how cheap they can be.

    Like I said, you and others can try and get them to show the games locally. Doesn’t hurt to try but I doubt it will happen for many reasons.

    There’s a difference between volunteers for Rogers and volunteers for a radio broadcast. The Rogers volunteers may not be baseball knowledgeable, except maybe the play by play people. Even then I sometimes have doubts. OK, I may be a bit harsh here, I’m sure they do the best they can. The camera and control people, probably not. The last game I believe were not fans. The runs and hits were wrong for most of the game and the home/visiting team reversed.

    My point is, the Rogers volunteers are there to get experience as cameramen and director and whatever is needed. Most of their long-term goals I’m sure is to get jobs in those fields, not necessarily baseball related. They take what’s available.

    The volunteers for the internet radio on the other hand are baseball savvy and do it for the love of the game. There’s a difference in doing something you love versus looking at it as a job. It’s not as easy as it sounds to get baseball savvy people to do a broadcast (and fewer still who will do it well) and have proper equipment and volunteering their time. We’re lucky in Ottawa with Howard and Jason although I’ve never heard their broadcast so I don’t know how good they are. Last year’s team I’d rate average. I’d do it myself – I did enjoy my experience last year during the final game and think I was pretty good – but I don’t have the equipment and nobody else is willing to do the scoreboard duties. The only other guy who can is busy with his own duties.

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